Used, abused and discarded

Less than two weeks ago I sat at a meeting at Southern African Political Economy Series (SAPES) discussing women’s marginalisation Today, I sit here and think we were being superficial in our discussion. Skirting the issues and talking about everyone else except us.

Today, as I see the headline of violence at the MDC-T office in Bulawayo, and my reaction to my sisters who sat (or not) in that meeting is that asikhaqalisi, hapana kwatati tamboenda. Really? Another VP bashed by the party carders in a party she is leading, yes leading, as she is part of the leadership and part of the top four? Mmmmmh. At that meeting, I talked about women being used, abused and discarded. Well, well, well, it’s now sounding like a song and very soon women will be swaying their hips to it. Zvajairika.

Really, my sisters, are we going to normalise the abnormal?! My brothers, and specifically those that want to be seen as progressive and democratic, are we going to be complicit to this? Is this going to be our practice as we sit in platforms, locally, regional and internationally and pontificate about change? Yes, pontificate because if we talk democracy and there is an absence of equality then we are pontificating. And I, as one woman, am not interested in blessing something that excludes me. Yes, excludes me nekuti how do I sit at a table when I have bandages all over my face and I can’t breathe properly because my ribs hurt from the punches dze party youth. Those that see themselves regionally and internationally, are you also going to be complicit in this? Don’t tell me about how violent ZANU is Pleeeease! ZANU has never said it wants to change things in Zimbabwe, as far as I know they want to be the head honcho period. So am not at this point dealing with them per ser. Am dealing with all the people who say they want to change things in Zimbabwe, the ones who claim they are democrats. Those are who I am really talking to. Am not focusing on patriarchal apologists, male or female. Handina nguva yavo just now. Ndichazo dealer navo pachikamu chinotevera. I am focusing on all those who stand or sit and say they believe in democratic change in Zimbabwe. Veduwe, zvakwana, sokwanele! Enough of being treated in political parties as if we are beggars for benevolent crumbs. Enough of being treated as if we are not full-fledged cadres of the party. Enough of being treated by zvikomana zvakajoina party nezuro as if ndivo varidzi veparty. Chitungwiza Aquatic, maivako? Who sat at the high table, how did we get there? What did you know about the party then? Nhasi takubikira tii ukanwa ukaguta you now shit on our faces, as if you know where it started?! Yes, sh*t on our faces as women, inside and outside of your political parties, because abuse and violation of one, is abuse and violation for us all. MXM…Kurera mbwa nemukaka mangwana inofuma yokuruma nhai!

Ms Thoko Matshe is the Africa Regional Coordinator at the Olof Palme International Center and a Masimanyane Women's Rights International Board Member.

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